Federal investigators say they believe Russian hackers were behind cyberattacks on a contractor for Florida's election system that may have exposed the personal data of voters in the Sunshine State -- even though Secretary of State Ken Detzner claims nothing was compromised.
The alleged vendor hack nevertheless prompted the FBI last week to coordinate an emergency call with the 67 county election supervisors who operate the election system in the perennial battleground state. Media sources have not confirmed the name of the vendor that suffered the attack.
An FBI spokeswoman said the bureau and the Department of Homeland Security hosted another conference call, this one with Florida state officials to address questions regarding the security of election systems and to share information about the general nature of the cyber threat. FBI and DHS continue to work closely with Florida officials to assist them in safeguarding their election infrastructures.
ABC News first reported the Florida election information was compromised.
Investigators believe a local contractor in California was the hackers' target, but the systems accessed weren't related to the elections, U.S. officials said.
A spokeswoman for Detzner said, "We currently have no indication of a Florida-specific issue. The Florida Voter Registration System database is secure. The Department of State does not utilize a vendor for voter registration services. The Department has in place many safeguards to prevent any possible attempts from being successful."
The Florida contractor hack comes on the heels of hacks in Illinois, in which personal data of tens of thousands of voters may have been stolen, and one in Arizona, in which investigators now believe the data of voters was likely exposed.
CNN.com says FBI investigators believe the the hacks and attempted intrusions of state election sites were carried out by hackers working for Russian intelligence.
The cyberattacks on election registration sites are focused on parts of the U.S. election system that wouldn't affect the votes cast or the vote counts, according to U.S. officials. Instead, the intruders are targeting registration systems.
In a statement last Friday, the director of National Intelligence and the Homeland Security Department formally blamed Russia for hacking political organizations, including the Democratic National Committee, and orchestrating the release of private emails in an attempt to meddle in the U.S. elections. The Russian government has vehemently denied it.
The statement said the U.S. government wasn't yet ready to attribute the hacks of election registration sites.
In other voter-registration news, a federal judge on Wednesday extended voter registration in Florida until 5 p.m. Oct. 18, due to the disruption and damage from Hurricane Matthew.
During a hearing Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker agreed to extend the deadline for six more days. He had already extended the Oct. 11 deadline one day, after the Florida Democratic Party filed a lawsuit last weekend. That action followed the hurricane's brush with Florida's east coast.
Walker said in an order issued shortly afterward that he acted swiftly because "no right is more precious than having a voice in our democracy."
"Hopefully it is not lost on anyone that the right to have a voice is why this great country exists in the first place," wrote Walker.